Top prospects among Mariners’ non-roster invitees
SEATTLE — Highly touted young prospects Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Mike Zunino and Nick Franklin are among 18 non-roster players invited to Major League Spring Training by the Mariners on Friday.
The 18 players extended invitations include 15 who were members of the Mariners’ organization last year, along with veteran first baseman Mike Jacobs, former Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman and 27-year-old reliever Jhonny Nunez, who was in the Rays’ organization last year.
Walker, Paxton, Zunino and Franklin are all ranked among MLB.com’s top 100 prospects. Danny Hultzen, Seattle’s other elite pitching prospect, is automatically invited to camp as a member of the 40-man Major League roster.
Walker, Paxton and Hultzen all were at the Major League camp last year, as well. Zunino, the 2012 first-round Draft choice, will be making his first Spring Training appearance.
Also getting their first Major League camp invites are young infielders Stefen Romero and Brad Miller, catcher John Hicks, right-handed starter Andrew Carraway and right-handed relievers Carson Smith and Logan Bawcom, who was acquired from the Dodgers in the Brandon League trade last July.
D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar, the two pitchers obtained from the Yankees in the Ichiro Suzuki deal, have also been invited, along with right-hander Jonathan Arias and lefty Brian Moran.
Catcher Jesus Sucre is returning for his second Mariners camp after re-signing as a Minor League free agent.
Mariners pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training in Peoria, Ariz., on Feb. 12, with the first workout slated for Feb. 13. Position players are scheduled to report for physicals Feb. 15, followed by the first full-squad workout will be Feb. 16.
The Spring Training roster now sits at 58 players, including 30 pitchers (11 non-roster), five catchers (three non-roster), 15 infielders (four non-roster) and eight outfielders (no non-roster).
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.